Kyle Lowry: Upside?

2009 October 26
tags: ,
by rahat huq

I’ve said before that Kyle Lowry is my favorite player on the team.

I really, really like Kyle Lowry.

Much ado is made of the Scola trade or finding Landry in the second round, but in my opinion, the Lowry trade was the most impressive acquisition of the Daryl Morey era and really microcosmic of Morey’s overall philosophy in management of the team.

He held off on dumping a presumed negative asset in Rafer Alston until the market for point guards was bone dry and a desperate buyer in the Orlando Magic presented itself. If it wasn’t enough that he was able to reel in a 23 year old prospect who was actually an immediate upgrade over Alston, the real genius of the trade was that Brian Cook is only a one year commitment.

So essentially, Morey just split Rafer Alston’s burdensome $4.5million contract into a better player and the difference in salary. In a nutshell, Morey landed the far superior player in the trade without taking on any future salary obligations. That rarely happens.

What is so frustrating is that if Lowry could just shoot, even at only age 23, I think he would immediately have to be considered a ‘top 15′ point guard in this league. The problem is that his lack of an outside shot is such a glaring weakness that it precludes any serious discussion of a starting role and severely limits his ceiling. The kid already has everything else.

He attacks the basket and draws fouls as well as anyone, he runs the offense with the sure-handedness usually only exhbited by veterans, and he has the tools to be elite defensively. That last trait is particularly significant. How many guys at that position can actually defend at an elite level and not completely suck at everything else?

There were reports in the summer that Lowry had been working diligently on his shooting. That does not seem to have paid off. What is strange is that his form is fine. This is not a case of a bad shooter (ala Rafer Alston) chucking his way to a predictably low percentage. On the contrary, watching Lowry, I get the sense of a guy who just does not want to shoot out of a belief that there are higher percentage options off the pass/drive.

This is a true point guard mentality but unfortunately, this mindset neglects the fact that the offense would be better served if the defense had to honor Lowry’s shot as a legitimate threat.

As perimeter shooting is probably the skill most easily developed, entering only his 4th year, Lowry has time. But for now, especially on a team with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, the inability to shoot is such a huge weakness that I don’t think Lowry is starter material. And that’s really a damn shame. He’s so good already at everything else that if only he were a competent shooter, he could be a modern day Mark Jackson – never an All-Star but a guy you could pencil in as a rock solid starter for the next decade and feel great about your chances.

Bookmark and Share
  • Hugh
    Completely Agree.
  • Rocketeer
    Well said Cabby. I said id last year, the kid plays with so much poise. More so than the veterans on the team.
  • Anonymous
    wonderful analysis.

    though im not the greatest fan of lowry because he can't finish when he penetrates (thats what she said).
  • Bruce Teague
    I think if he's given enough minutes we might see some triple doubles from the kid this year.
  • thelasik
    You must spread some reputation around before giving it to thacabbage again.
  • Anonymous
    "What is so frustrating is that if Lowry could just shoot, even at only age 23, I think he would immediately have to be considered a 'top 15' point guard in this league. The problem is that his lack of an outside shot is such a glaring weakness that it precludes any serious discussion of a starting role and severely limits his ceiling." So true! I keep thinking that Kyle only had 2 seasons at Villanova, one shortened with his knee injury, and will develop that perimeter jumper, but it hasn't happened yet. He's much better from around 15 feet in, so maybe we'll have to be content with that. If so, he needs more elevation on his jumper and a quicker release to get it over the trees.

    Great read and look forward to reading more!

    - Deckard
  • cabbage
    rocketeer: he would probably be considered just as much of a team leader as battier were it not for his lack of tenure on the team.

    bruce: haha, i wouldn't go that far


    deckard/lasik: thanks for reading.
blog comments powered by Disqus